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IDT Bid for Global Crossing Rebuffed

The phone firm had sought to block a sale to Asian investors, but a judge refuses to allow CEO to present his case.

February 28, 2003|From Reuters

A federal judge has dismissed attempts by telephone service provider IDT Corp. to scuttle the sale of Global Crossing Ltd.'s assets to two Asian investors.

IDT, calling the sale a threat to U.S. national security, said Monday that it would mount a rival $255-million bid to acquire Global Crossing's high-speed network, seeking to edge out a bid by Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Singapore Technologies Telemedia.

But at a hearing Wednesday, Judge Robert Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan refused to allow IDT Chief Executive Jim Courter to present his case, saying the CEO had not given him notice of his intention to appear in court.

Although Newark, N.J.-based IDT had held a news conference the night before, the telecommunications company is not permitted to submit a formal bid until the sale to the Hutchison group is finalized or rejected -- and that could still be weeks or months away.

Global Crossing, in an effort to survive its bankruptcy proceedings in January 2002, struck a deal in August giving control to the two Asian investors for just pennies on the dollar.

IDT said it mounted its bid to buy the once-highflying phone company because it heard that the deal with the Hutchison group had hit a roadblock in the final stage of the regulatory approval process.

Global Crossing said it would not comment on the process other than to say that it had received a green light from Gerber and all 25 U.S. states where it is required.

It also had won antitrust clearances in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

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